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Anarchy for Regular Folks

Von: Visual Purple (doreendotan@gmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 18.10.2007 18:11
Message-ID: <1192723866.032975.254580@e34g2000pro.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.politics.democrats.d alt.politics alt.current-events.usa alt.current-events alt.politics.usa
Anarchy for Regular Folks

One of my ongoing concerns is the redemption of Anarchy from the
"punks" and misfits of all stripes who have become the soi-disant
representatives and spokespersons for Anarchism.

While I certainly do not fault people who have become a little freaky
as a result of living in sick societies (hey, who hasn't); I also
recognize that the disturbed and the dysfunctional cannot be depended
upon to be the ballast of any society, certainly not one that will
require the exquisite common sense and self control that Anarchy will.

I would go further and say that we cannot even depend upon the
proletariat to be those who make the revolution happen.

In contradiction to Bakunin and Kropotkin, Gustav Landauer did not
have faith in the proletariat to either be galvanized into a
revolutionary body or to be able to carry out a successful revolution.

Landauer's heart was shredded by the suffering of the proletariat and
to the purpose of eradicating their suffering, most especially, he
devoted his thought and efforts as clearly articulated in FOR
SOCIALISM: "Priests and middle class citizens who submit to moral
restraint have introduced the practice of speaking of these poor
wretches as if they were animals, though they are innocently guilty
for our despicable innocence. They are called beasts, swine, goats and
animals. You stare at their features, when they lie in the morgue. You
have spared your own flesh, and your notoriously sensitive hearts!
Look at the poor, the miserable, the sunken, the criminals and whores,
you good citizens, you withdrawn and reserved youths, you chaste girls
and honorable women. Look and learn: your innocence is your guilt;
your guilt is your life." - pg. 41

Yet, he knew that the revolution could only be carried out with the
support of the Middle Class.

He also wrote: "There they succumb to drink and can often no longer
live without being intoxicated. They get drunk because nothing is so
essentially alien to them as sobriety." - ibid.

As part of his scathing and uncompromising critique of Marxism he
wrote: "Let it finally be understood, what is really being said here.
It is recognized here that the workers are not a revolutionary class,
but a bunch of poor wretches who must live and die under
capitalism. ..But everything that is recognized, admitted ad conceded
here, is a blow against Marxism, which seeks to understand the workers
in their role as producers not as the poor lowest stage of capitalism
but as the destiny-chosen bearers of the revolution and socialism." -
pg. 86

"But a major part of suffering is the realization of ones' bad
situation; and how many proletarians to this extent undergo not the
least suffering!" - pg. 111

"...what is called the proletariat will never of itself be the
embodiment of a people..." - pg. 117

Even Bakunin, in a moment of brutal honesty, addressed the
proletarians thus: "Let us then be good brothers and comrades, and let
us organize ourselves. Do not think that we are at the end of the
Revolution, we are at its beginning. The Revolution is henceforth the
order of the day, for many decades to come. It will come to find us,
sooner or later. Let us therefore prepare and purify ourselves and
become more genuine, let us be less talkers, less criers, less
phrasemongers, less drinkers and less rakes. Let us gird our loins and
properly prepare ourselves for this struggle which will save all
peoples and finally emancipate humanity." THE BASIC BAKUNIN WRITINGS
1869-1871, Translated and Edited by Robert M. Cutler, pg. 65

The revolution must have the support of the middle class and middle
aged, the middle of the road - the sober of mind, the possessors of
self-discipline, those able to compromise, those with the wisdom of
decades of living under their belts.

The task at hand, then, as we see from the quotes above from Landauer,
is to sensitize the middle class to the sufferings of the poor. We
must counter the lack of identification with the poor that has been
cultivated among the middle class as a method of "divide and conquer"
on the part of the bourgeoisie.

The transition into a normalized Anarchic society after the
revolutionary period will not be carried out by enraged teenagers, no
matter how sympathetic we may be as to the reasons for their outrage.

Anarchy has to be the Movement of the stable, the mature, the
rational, *the average*.

The revolution cannot leave us with a patchwork of Freetown
Christianias and life has to be richer than a continuous Crass
concert.

Neither can the revolution cannot leave us with what Bakunin has
rightly said is a negative stance - Anarchism. We must be *for*
something. This the enraged and the too pained to function, precisely
those now being attracted to Anarchism and running it afoul, cannot
do.

Only when the Middle Class realize who they are being used and abused
and overcome the illusion that they are not among the disenfranchised,
just like the poor, will the Revolution occur.

Saul Alinsky recognized that too and just before his death he planned
to undertake the major project of his life - the political
radicalization of the average Joe.  See the interview he granted to
Playboy Magazine in 1972 on this URL: http://tinyurl.com/qov5t . He
did not live to succeed. That's a tragedy. If anyone could have done
it, he could have. He was uniquely gifted to be the catalyst that set
off an explosion of awareness and desire for radical change among the
Middle Class.

Anarchy, in the final analysis, has to be a Revolution of the average
people - not the intellectual, not the punk, not the enraged and
disturbed past the point of being able to function.  It cannot reach
the necessary critical mass if it is the Movement of those on the
sidelines of society.

I am convinced that the reason that Anarchy has not succeeded is
because it has not convinced the Middle Class that they are among the
outsiders, they too are disenfranchised, they are working 60 hours a
week when about two hours per day will suffice if technology is
employed properly, that they are *emotionally and psychologically
destitute* and that is what is impinging on their ability to connect
with others and that is why it is worth their while to get radical.

Anarchy must create a way of life that average people can live, feel
comfortable with and feel at home in. Anarchy cannot be an
"alternative lifestyle".

Either Anarchy will speak to and for the mainstream, or it won't
succeed.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Anarchist and 50-Year-Old Grandmother
DoreenDotan@gmail.com


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